“There is no room for neutrality, and there is no such thing as a ‘non-racist’. One is either racist or anti-racist.”
- Ibram X. Kendi
I read this really interesting article by Kristen Rogers on cnn.com. Here are some points that I wanted to share.
Being anti-racist means more than freeing yourself of racist attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. It means you’re also actively fighting that deplorable trinity as it presents in your life on a daily basis. Actively rebutting preconception in your own circles is key to lasting change, as those ideas and beliefs — unless challenged — are what our children absorb and are woven into the fabric of our culture.
Shift your mindset
Becoming anti-racist starts with shifting your own mindset. This means, for example, that when you have a prejudiced or racist thought, you hold that thought and reassess it before acting it out.
Speak up in your own circles
The most important thing a white ally can do [is] fight our battles when there are no people of color around.
The problem is that too many people claim to fight against the system, but do not speak out against prejudice and racism when there are no people of color around.
Educate yourself about racism
It’s time to start reading about race. Tatum’s book can explain why black students find relief in hanging out together amid all the racism they experience at school. Harvey’s book can help parents of white children talk to their children about race and racism.
“So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo relays how race and racism affect every aspect of American life and how to talk about it with your loved ones. “The Souls of Black Folk,” by late sociologist and activist W.E.B. Du Bois, highlights the experiences of black people in American society. It was published in 1903, but it still holds relevance.
Learn about microaggressions
Some white people know that to become anti-racist, they must start to listen and brush up on the history of racism in their countries.
Some people are describing obviously racist behavior as the the tip of the iceberg — calling people racist names or threatening people on the basis of race. Then there’s the part of the iceberg that’s not easily visible to people if they’re not looking. This includes a range of subtle but insidious attitudes, behaviors and policies.
Among these are microaggressions. They are brief and commonplace verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities, Tatum said.
Microaggressions can be intentional, unintentional or even well-meaning, but they communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial assumptions to the receiver. And they have an insidious effect on a black person’s psyche and continuing racist assumptions.
“These racist tendencies are obvious to the person of color, but they are so ingrained in the non-person of color that they are believed to be socially acceptable,” said Justice Horn, a social justice activist and protest organizer from Kansas City, Missouri.
There are much more interesting information in Kristin Rogers’ article.
Please read more:
How to be anti-racist: Speak out in your own circles
You can fight racism by being the change you want to see, understanding microaggressions, speaking up against racist…
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